How much will it cost to extend light rail into Virginia Beach?

Posted at 7:50 AM, Sep 18, 2013
and last updated 2013-09-18 10:49:07-04

Virginia Beach, Va. (WTKR) Not a million – but a billion dollars.

NewsChannel 3 is learning more about how much it could cost to extend light rail to Virginia Beach.

Darragh Copley is live in Norfolk with the latest:

More than a billion bucks.

That's how much Hampton Roads Transit says it will cost to build a light rail line from Norfolk to the Oceanfront.

The new price tag is nearly $200 million more than the most recent estimates two years ago.

HRT officials presented projections including costs and ridership numbers to Virginia Beach's City Council Tuesday afternoon.

The predicted cost of more than a billion dollars to extend The Tide from Newtown Road to the Oceanfront is based on how much money it will take to build in 2018 - the year construction could start.

HRT officials believe this accounts for inflation to build seven bridges needed to cross roads and water in order to ride The Tide to the resort city.

City leaders still don't know how they're going to fund extending light rail from Norfolk to Virignia Beach.

But Mayor Will Sessoms tells NewsChannel 3 he wants to get the Rosemont Road portion on line as soon as it's possible.

While city council considers how they're going to pay for the light rail extension - supporters say taking The Tide to Virginia Beach will break up the back ups during rush hour and create more jobs.

City leaders are looking at asking for federal funding, or taking bids from private companies as ways to fund this project.

Click here for the Virginia Beach Transit Extension Study from HRT